OUR TOWN

battlebeast

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I just read that Our Town's copyright was not renewed in 1968, but, because it is a derivative work from a play that is still under US copyright, it is NOT public domain. So who owns this film?
 

LeoA

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I caught a little bit of it on TCM a week or so ago and don't remember thinking it looked awful.


I was tempted to watch, but the play was a bit too depressing for my taste back in high school so I only saw the first 2 or 3 minutes before going back to the disc I had in my player.
 

Jim*Tod

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I watched this on TCM HD. This is the only vintage film with a digital restoration where the restoration credits were inserted into the original movie credits. This indicates a "digital restoration" which must have occurred several years ago. It was a pretty murky image and there were more than a few breaks and scratches. I wonder if the original elements even still exist. Interesting looking film though with some good performances. TCM showed it as part of their series of films designed by William Cameron Menzies. Wish we could see a decent version. What they showed looked like a public domain title you'd buy out of a drug store bin for .99.
 

PODER

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OUR TOWN, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, THE GLASS MENAGERIE ... interesting that the film versions of some of Broadway's

most revered plays seem to have slipped through every available crack. I'd particularly like to see THE GLASS MENAGERIE,

with its unexpected casting of Gertrude Lawrence in the mother's role.
 

aPhil

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I watched "Our Town" on TCM this past week. Transfer & image quality is terrible -- Probably the worst looking thing that I have sat through in years -- I simply wanted to watch as I remembered the play from High School but never saw the movie. It was a bit of an endurance test!


The people that took credit for something they call "digital restoration" did put their names on top of the original credits for the film, and I can't imagine anyone with any sense of dignity putting their name on such a terrible job. I've seen better things done by amateurs working with consumer equipment in the basement of their home.
 
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richardburton84

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Courtesy of Ray Faiola on Film Score Monthly:

Now available from Chelsea Rialto Studios - an exclusive blu-ray release of Sol Lesser's production of Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN. This 1940 film stars Martha Scott, William Holden, Frank Craven, Thomas Mitchell, Fay Bainter, Guy Kibbee, Beulah Bondi, Stuart Erwin and Phillip Wood. The music is by Aaron Copland and the film was directed by Sam Wood.



Long in the public domain, OUR TOWN has invariably been available in dupe prints with poor picture and sound. This blu-ray release was transferred from a near-mint original 16mm print. Also included on the blu-ray is a 1952 episode of THE LILLI PALMER SHOW with Lilli's guest Thornton Wilder. This exclusive Blu-Ray release is $20 plus shipping and can be ordered at http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com.

Here's a newly made trailer for OUR TOWN:

 
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Rodney

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I have a poor copy on DVD from Focus Film that came out in 2001. Happy to replace it with a much better blu-ray presentation.
 
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battlebeast

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I have a poor copy on DVD from Focus Film that came out in 2001. Happy to replace it with a much better blu-ray presentation.
I think I have the same one.

question for anyone:

If the film was shot in 35mm, and they say they used a 16mm print, will there be information loss? Ie, will the picture be cropped?
 

PODER

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Is this a first from Chelsea Rialto, or are there other Blu-Rays? I'm not finding any by going on the website.
Many thanks in advance, and such great news about OUR TOWN!
 
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Thomas T

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Okay, I received my copy of Our Town in today's mail. I didn't watch it all the way through but scanned it from beginning to end.

First off, it appears to be a burned disc which may be a deal breaker for some but I have no problem with burned discs. The film has been in the public domain for years and I've never seen a decent transfer. The good news is that this is the best I've seen Our Town look. It's far from perfect. A little too bright which gives the film a grayish look rather than a crisp B&W. The sound is LCPM and it's clear although it has a very minor hiss through out but not enough to distract from one's enjoyment of the film. Bottom line: if you're a fan of the film, unless there's a major restoration, it's unlikely you'll see a better print. So just finally having a watchable print of this classic piece of Americana makes the purchase worthwhile. However, if you insist your blu rays be razor sharp crisp transfers, this probably isn't for you.

Just my two cents.
 
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